|Biographical detail : ||The Sudanese leader.
Mahdi became Sudan’s Prime minister first in 1966 but was defeated in election in 1968. He again became prime minister in 1986-89.
Britain, the colonial power, compounded the division, first by reinforcing the inequalities of development between the centre and outlying regions, and then by hastily granting Sudan independence in 1956, without taking the interests of the southern Sudanese into account. “One amazing feature of the Sudanese conflicts is its tenacity,” writes Mansour Khalid (himself a former foreign minister) in his book, War and Peace in Sudan and notes. “Like the mythical phoenix, whenever the flames of war die down, it surprises friend and foe by emerging from the ashes reinvigorated, more vicious and ready to inflict greater causalities.”
Mahdi received his early education in Khartoum and later in Oxford.